Yes, we use organic practices on our farm. No, you won’t find “organic” on the label.
On any given day, you might find me, one of my siblings or seasonal employees diligently hoeing – by hand – our fields to stay ahead of weeds. With each new season, we rotate our crops to keep bugs at bay, prevent soil erosion and build organic matter (rich nutrients in the soil). We also use livestock manure to replenish the soils, further building up Ns, Ps and Ks (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) that are essential for feeding our plants.
- Organic certification is expensive. Certification costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, which includes an application fee, renewal fees, sales assessments and inspection fees.
- It can be very time consuming. While a certified-organic farm is only inspected once a year, farmers are expected to keep pretty detailed records of what happens on the farm – from total hours spent weeding to logging equipment use. And, we grow a lot of different plants and produce, making the whole process even more difficult.
- We use synthetic chemicals. Because of our farm size, there are just some things we can’t fight using organic practices. So, we choose to use minimal amounts of synthetic pesticides – and only as a very last line of defense. We’re confident this is the best choice for our farm. (Also, it’s a common myth that organic farmers don’t use any pesticides, but they can use naturally derived and some synthetic pesticides.)
- A label doesn’t change the quality of a product. All our produce is grown with practices that are safe and healthy for the plant, for you and for your family. Regardless of the label, make sure you’re incorporating lots of fruits and veggies into your diet.